So on April 4th we flew on Ljubljana Marshes and shot these beautiful views of the Marshes and Ljubljana and the Alps glimmering in the warm spring sun – and less than 48 hours later we woke up to this:
Tivoli castle, ex hotel Švicarija (now an art centre) and the former annexe of the mansion under the April snow.
A huge blob of polar vortex decided to see how the latitudes below are doing and descended upon them … A classic show of climate instability brought to us by ourselves …
May the Gods of Wind be angry forever with anyone that says ‘Haha! There is your “global warming”!’ in a condescending voice!
But this unexpected dump of snow gave us an opportunity to do a rare white KAP session! The winter winds are usually not kind to kites, and it is generally too cold and too wet to stand for hours holding a kite line.
We fly kites a lot in Tivoli City park in Ljubljana, as it is the closest open space, but it is notoriously difficult to do kite aerial photography here. Rožnik and Šiška hills block the winds and create another turbulent layer above the usual turbulent layer near the ground, and valiant arborealists planted trees in strategic places as if they wanted to feed them kites.
So a KAP session here is always an adrenaline affair, threading the kite line carefully between the hungry kite-eating trees, always prepared for an abrupt change of the wind strength and direction. Flying a venerable Rokkaku, of course as it is the only kite we can fly here with at least some confidence …
Tivoli Castle – Podturn Manor, Schloss Unterthurn – is a mansion built in the 17th century on the ruins of a previous Renaissance-period castle. It was first owned by the Jesuits, then it was a summer residence of the bishops of Ljubljana Diocese, and in 1852 the Emperor Franz Joseph bought it and presented it as a gift to his faithful general Radetzky (field mashall Joseph Radetzky von Radetz).
Later the Municipality of Ljubljana bought the castle and used it for many activities (including as a poorhouse). In 1967 it was renovated and became the venue for the International Centre of Graphic Arts MGLC.
Švicarija – the Swiss house – above the Mansion was built in 1910 by architect Ciril Metod Koch as Hotel Tivoli, in an Alpine style (therefore its unofficial name). Today it hosts the Švicarija Creative Centre, providing working and living studios to local artists, and residential spaces to international artists.
All in all, it was a good and exillarating winter KAP session. The venerable Rokkaku excelled again, and we got the Tivoli Park covered in snow. Thank you, winter, thank you, unstable polar vortex – now it’s really time for spring!
Thanks to the turbulences we even got a glimpse of Šiška district!
All kite aerial photos shot with Canon A810 on a blue Rokkaku kite.